I am a freelance writer and wife of a guy who reminds me a lot of Ross Geller. We have two beautiful daughters, Hadley and Harper. We named them after the book To Kill A Mockingbird. (I wanted to name Hadley “Radley” but my husband thought that was going too far, so Hadley it is.) Visit me at my other blog, http://notesfromnaptime. blogspot.com

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Getting In Shape For Spring

It’s official- spring has sprung.  I always enjoy the first days of warm weather when I walk outside and smile because my arms are warm from the sunshine.  This year, however, I’m feeling a little tentative, and that is because this year I am 35.  Being 35 means I am no longer 34, and there are a few words written by Nora Ephron that have been lurking around my head lately as I don sunglasses and flip flops, and take big whiffs of Coppertone.  She writes in her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck, “If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini and don’t take it off until you’re 34.”

I bought a bikini for an upcoming trip to the Outer Banks this May.

It’s sitting in the bottom drawer of my dresser, and when I see it, it chants snidely, “You’re 35.  You’re 35. You’re 35!”  It does a little dance, too.  And laughs.  I purchased a Mean Girl bikini.

I want to wear it, though.  It might be mean, but it’s so cute.  (Aren’t all mean girls?)  But Nora Ephron knows her stuff.  She’s been in Vogue.  She writes those cute Meg Ryan movies.  Maybe she’s on to something.  Maybe 34 is young, and 35?  Well, 35 is perhaps….ehem….when things start to sag.

Now that my bathing suit taunts me whenever I see it, I’m either going to throw it on the ground and do a little cucaracha dance on it, or wear it.  If I wear it, I think I ought to kick up my exercise routine a bit.  I think I need to add more weights and higher doses of cardio.  The last couple of weeks I’ve made sure I’m in a Body Sculpt class at my gym, as well as a Trek and Spin class which is 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the bike.  It’s kind of brutal, but with each incline increase, and each peddle on the bike I say (to myself of course), “34, 34, 34” and imagine The Sags rolling down my leg, and out the door.  Maybe The Sags go to McDonalds for some fries.

I also have a DVD that I told myself that starting in April I have to do once a week. It’s called “Cardio Explosion,” and it’s made up of four 12 minutes segments of interval and high intensity cardio, and I want to cry when I’m trying to complete it.  I also want a piece of blueberry pie that I know is in the fridge.  The Sags would LOVE some pie.

Others start thinking about getting in shape for Spring, right?  It’s not just the New Year that people start making goals.  I asked a blogger friend of mine, Jenny Shutan who writes on the adorable blog Happenings of a Little Bubsy and who also happens to be a personal trainer in Annapolis for some advice.

She says that starting a workout routine in the spring is ideal for several reasons.  “I find that most of my clients workout harder and more efficiently in the spring because it’s warmer.  With the sun shining and flowers in bloom you’re more apt to get outdoors.  Plus, there are more fresh vegetables and fruit for healthy eating.”

The thing about starting out in warmer weather, Jenny says, is that there isn’t as much pressure to exercise as there is in January.  “All that pressure leads to gym memberships not being used, money lost, and binge eating.”

Jenny suggests finding something you like to do that gets your heart rate up, and you can easily commit to. For example, if you are a dog owner, use your walks as a time for exercise.  “Each time you go for a walk (or run) go a little further.  It makes it more enjoyable and you will be surprised what a great motivator your dog is for you!”

Taking kids to a park provides opportunities to get a workout in as well.  Jog or walk to the park while you push young children in a stroller, or run along with them as they ride their bikes.  Then “let your kiddos out to play while you use the park bench to do squats, dips, push ups, and even step ups!”

What’s encouraging about Jenny’s advice is that you don’t necessarily have to join a gym to get in a good workout.  Especially now that it’s warm, there are plenty of activities to do outside.

So go ahead and pick out a cute bathing suit for the beach this year, and get yourself motivated to get exercising.  I’m going to let Ms. Ephron know that there’s plenty of time for us to feel bad about our necks.

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